A SIMPLE APPROACH TO USING THE RAW FOOD DIET PLAN FOR SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS
Switching from your current way of eating to the raw food diet plan does not have to be complicated. All you are doing is choosing one kind of food over another; or one kind of recipe over another. That’s it. You don’t have to know everything ever written about the raw food diet to just get started. There’s plenty of fun stuff to learn later on, but I have purposefully kept this plan as simple as possible so you’ll realize how very easy this is to implement into your life.
1. LEARN WHAT FOODS TO EAT
The raw food diet plan consists of eating many foods you are already very familiar with (see the List of Raw Foods page for a complete list). These foods represent the palette, so to speak, that can be combined in almost limitless ways for creating delicious recipes! Here are the general categories of foods:
Fruits, fresh and dried (ex: apples, raisins)
Berries (ex: strawberries)
Vegetables (ex: carrots)
Leafy Vegetables (ex: romaine lettuce)
Nuts (ex: almonds)
Seeds (ex: sunflower seeds)
Seaweeds (ex: kelp)
Legumes (ex: lentils)
Beans (ex: adzuki beans)
Grains (ex: barley)
Superfoods (ex: bee pollen)
Fermented foods (ex: sauerkraut)
Herbs (ex: parsley)
Spices (ex: cinnamon)
Oils (ex: olive oil)
Sweeteners (ex: honey)
Condiments (ex: raw soy sauce)
Beverages (ex: water, herbal tea)
2. LEARN HOW TO EAT THEM
The above foods are all eaten raw, meaning they are not cooked. However, this doesn’t mean everything on the raw food diet plan is eatencold. You can warm up your soup or use a dehydrator to make veggie burgers, as long as they are not heated above 118°. This preserves the most nutrients and live enzymes in the food so you can be as healthy as possible. Here are some examples of raw food preparation techniques:
Eat just as is: just grab an apple or a bunch of grapes
Cut them up: such as a bowl of cantaloupe or watermelon pieces
Mix them up: such as a salad full of leafy greens and vegetables
Juice them: like carrots and apples
Blend them into smoothies: like strawberries and bananas
Or into soups: like a fresh tomato-based gazpacho
Or into sauces: like a marinara, non-dairy “chedda” or BBQ sauce
Use a food processor: for nut-based pie crusts or veggie burgers
Use a “spiralizer”: to turn zucchinis into instant spaghetti noodles
Sprout them: to create your own alfalfa sprouts
Ferment them: to make your own pickles or sauerkraut
Dehydrate them: to create veggie burgers, breads or crackers
3. INCORPORATE THEM INTO YOUR MEALS
Did those foods sound familiar? Delicious? See – the raw food diet plan is so do-able. You’re just going to make foods from different recipes. And I’ve even included a few simple raw food recipes on this site to get you started. They may sound like old favorites, but they’re made a little differently. For instance, no animal foods (chicken, tuna, meat, etc.) were used at all, despite the names of the recipes. They’re all made with just the fresh plant-based ingredients listed above, along with creative use of seasonings, to create delicious raw alternatives. Here’s an example of what you might eat on the raw food diet plan (see Raw Food Diet Meal Plans for more options):
3 BREAKFAST IDEAS
rolled oats (soaked overnight) w/ honey, apples, raisins or bananas
bottomless bowl of fruit
an avocado, onion, lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprout breakfast sandwich
3 LUNCH IDEAS
huge salad of leafy greens and mixed veggies
hearty vegetable soup with “tuscan bread”
“tuna or chicken salad” sandwich or wrap
3 SNACK IDEAS
fruit and “yogurt”
cut up veggies with dip
crackers with “cheese”
3 DINNER IDEAS
“BBQ chicken fingers” with stuffed peppers
“mexican veggie burgers” with corn relish and guacamole
zucchini “pasta” w/ chunky marinara sauce and veggies
3 DESSERT IDEAS
“oatmeal raisin cookies”
banana “ice cream”
4. TRY A NEW APPROACH TO EATING
Now that you know which raw foods to eat and have perhaps found a few great recipes to try, let me help you by making this all so much simpler:throw all your old rules out the window! On the raw food diet plan, you don’t have to count any calories or carbs or measure any portions or starve while waiting 3 hours until the next time you can eat.
No, quite the contrary: if you are hungry, eat! As much as you want! Until you are full! As long as you are eating a nice variety of raw foods like the ones I have mentioned on this site, you are eating foods that are naturally low in calories, balanced nutritionally and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and water content (as long as your use of nuts and oils stays within reasonable limits). Therefore, even with larger portion sizes, you’ll likely be within recommended calorie intake levels because you don’t have to account for 800 calories worth of pizza or hamburger. Even if you’re really hungry and eat a lot in the beginning, your body will quickly adjust to the healthy natural food and that voracious hunger will start to shift to a mellow reminder. You’ll soon find it takes less food to make you full.
However, in order to keep your fat burning furnace fired up, you don’t want your calorie intake to dip too low. This alerts your survival instincts to slow down your metabolism to save you from possible starvation, and makes it very difficult to lose weight. That’s one of the main reasons that many low-calorie diets fail.
Instead, pay attention to your body’s signals, eat whenever you are hungry (ignoring the clock), eat until you are full, and enjoy your raw foods. What you are really doing on this raw food diet plan is removing from your diet those foods that may have caused your weight gain, or foods full of toxins or chemicals that have compromised your health, and instead eating clean fresh foods brimming full of nutrients that will help your body to heal on every level. And this includes all those systems of your body that work together to help you lose weight: your liver, your colon, your kidneys and even your lymphatic system. The reasons why people lose weight so successfully on the raw foods diet plan can be found on the Raw Foods Diet Weight Loss page.
OTHER COMMON SENSE COMPONENTS TO INCLUDE FOR WEIGHT LOSS
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
Healthy raw foods are not readily available everywhere – yet. So prepare your own food ahead of time, have it ready to grab and go, and always have raw food with you so you don’t resort to a weight-loss-busting error in judgment.
REASONS WHY THE RAW FOODS DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS REALLY WORKS TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
1. With the raw foods diet, weight loss is often more effective, as you are typically taking in lower calorie foods. So you can eat a lot more than you thought, and won’t go hungry (and thus you’ll likely stick with it longer, too).
2. Most raw foods – such as apples, cucumbers, celery, and leafy greens – are also typically higher water content foods, so you will become better hydrated. Improved hydration helps to flush out fats and toxins and helps all your organs function better.
3. By taking in improved and increased nourishment, you will become healthier all over. And when your body works better in every respect, its natural ability to burn off fat will be greatly improved. A healthier liver, especially, will improve your body’s fat burning ability.
4. It is hard to lose weight when your hormones are imbalanced. The plentiful nutrients contained in natural raw foods provide many of the precursors needed to produce those hormones. Plus, that nutrition will help to heal the organs which produce your hormones. Altogether, this helps you become more hormonally balanced so weight loss is easier.
5. With the raw foods diet, weight loss also occurs through detoxification. As your body naturally begins releasing the toxins often held in your fat cells, many of those fat cells will begin shrinking – and you will slim down.
6. You stop eating the toxin-filled, mucus-forming, hormone-imbalancing nutrient-poor dead, cooked, overly salted and processed foods that can cause weight gain and water retention in the first place.
7. The clean raw foods you do eat will not contain the chemicals and neurotoxins that can make you ravenously hungry (like restaurant foods do). Therefore, after a short time on a 100% raw foods diet, you find your physical sensation of hunger has changed. It becomes milder, subtler and much less insistent.
8. As you receive more and better nutrition, you become satisfied by less food. Your body doesn’t have to continue clamoring for more food to try to glean the tiny bit of nutrition that’s left in cooked food, if any.
9. As you become healthier, your metabolism works better, and you start to feel more energetic. Plus raw foods are easier to digest, which frees up tremendous amounts of energy. No more 3:00pm energy slump after a heavy cooked lunch.
10. As you have more energy, you are also more apt to begin or ramp up an exercise program, or become more active in your daily activities, which helps burn off more calories and fat.
11. After you’ve eaten the raw foods diet for weight loss even for a short while, you’ll notice that your emotions tend to even out. Therefore, you’ll have less need for emotional eating patterns that often lead to overeating or binge eating for comfort. You’ll feel happier, more balanced and more peaceful. Many even become more spiritually inclined.
12. When you become healthier than ever, you are no longer as “sick and tired” as you used to be, and it seems like your life improves in every way! You’ll discover that weight loss is only one of the many advantages of the raw foods diet!
· If you’ve noticed that raw food diet is heavily dependent on modern equipment such as freezers, fridges, and electrical equipment, this doesn’t need to be. You can have a raw food diet without these conveniences – it just requires more diligence, more daily preparation and daily harvesting or shopping for ingredients. It all depends on how much time you have available.
· Remain aware of changes in your digestive system or overall well-being.
· Blended drinks can be better than juiced ones because the fiber is left intact. Naturally, the drinking experience is quite different, so keep this in mind when choosing.
· Raw food blogs are a great source of raw food recipes, often including hints and tips of the blogger as they found what did and didn’t work when they tried recipes in popular books.
· A good part of the health benefit of a raw food diet is not as much about eating raw food as it is in about not eating fried or processed food. Some have found great benefit in mixing it up by adding more raw food to their diets and merely lessening cooked/processed food, or being on a raw food diet for several days a week. Everyone’s metabolism is different and a strict raw food diet may not be for you, so experiment and see how your body responds. You may be able to benefit from mixing it up!
· Raw foods and ingredients may include nut milk, pudding, smoothies and frozen banana cream.
· Supplement your diet with Vitamin B12 to prevent anemia. Some products include this but beware of processed products that have been cooked or heated to preserve them.
· Be secure if you choose to eat raw animal products. Ask questions about their quality and source and be totally reassured that they have been handled hygienically and with the optimum of care.
· If you dine out, bring a few of your own ingredients, such as an avocado, lemon, herbs or natural salad dressing. Although, note that most health codes prohibit bringing your own food into a restaurant, so it’s best to call ahead and ask for your needs to be catered for. If this isn’t possible, have a drink and a salad and fill up later at home